International students in F-1 or J-1 visa status are allowed certain work benefits. UGA departments are able to hire some international students for on-campus work positions.
- F-1 and J-1 international students attending UGA, who have an I-20 form (F-1 student) or a DS-2019 form (J-1 student) issued by UGA, can work on any of UGA's campuses.
- F-1 status students do not need any special authorization or documentation, as long as they have been maintaining legal status in the U.S.
- J-1 status students must have written authorization form an ISSIS advisor at UGA prior to accepting on campus employment.
Dependent Visa Types:
- An F-2 (dependent of an F1 student) cannot work or study while in the U.S.
- J-2 (dependent of a J1) status individuals can work if they have applied for and received a temporary work card authorizing them for employment.
Outside Sponsored Students:
An F-1 or J-1 status student sponsored by another U.S. school can work at UGA with authorization from either that school listed on the I-20 form or DS-2019 form (Curricular Practical Training or Academic Training), or from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the form of a temporary work card (Optional Practical Training).
Types of Work Authorizations for Off-Campus Employment or Training:
All F-1/J-1 status students need immigration authorization to work off-campus. In most cases, students must have been in status for at least one academic year before they can be authorized to work off-campus.
CPT is off-campus work permission that requires a student to receive academic credit for an internship. The work can be paid or unpaid. Evidence of authorization for CPT is entered on page 3 of the I-20 form. The immigration advisor in ISSIS must authorize CPT in advance on the student's I-20 form.
Students have the option of working in their field after graduation for a maximum of 12 months. An application for OPT is processed by the ISSIS immigration advisor and then is mailed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for approval. This application can take up to three months to be approved. Evidence of authorization for OPT is a temporary work card issued by the U.S. government. The accepted employment must be directly related to the student's field of study.
J-1 students can also obtain off-campus work permission. Academic training can be authorized in the form of an employment eligibility letter for a J-1 student who can establish that the specific work experience will enhance their exchange objective. Evidence of this work authorization is a valid DS-2019 form and a letter from the immigration advisor at the sponsoring school.
International students may apply for the above types of work permissions at istart.uga.edu.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has useful information for employers regarding regulations and requirements when hiring international students. Please find more information here: